Premier League week 1 predictions

Ben Talintyre Roar Pro

By , Ben Talintyre is a Roar Pro

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    The Premier League is back, so here’s some tips for the first batch of games.

    Saturday 12th August

    Arsenal vs Leicester (4:45am AEST)
    The way I reckon Arsenal will line up for this one is with a 3-4-3 formation having two wing backs in Kolasinic and Bellerin which will add another dimension to this game.

    For Leicester the new pairing of Vardy and Iheanacho up front may threaten their new three-man defense but with too much fire power Arsenal prevail in their opener fairly comfortably.

    Prediction – 3-1 Arsenal

    Watford vs Liverpool (9:30pm AEST)
    My boys Liverpool have a tricky away trip to Watford to contend with. Will Coutinho’s head be in the game? Will their defense stack up? Will they manage to break Watford if they sit back and defend? These are the big questions hanging over my and other tipsters heads for this one.

    I’m going to go with a narrow Liverpool win but wouldn’t be too surprised if Watford win this one with their new acquisition of Andre Gray from Burnley likely to threaten with his skill and speed up front.

    Prediction – 1-0 Liverpool

    Sunday 13th August

    Chelsea vs Burnley (12am AEST)
    This will not be as straight forward as expected. Champions Chelsea should start off in winning fashion but doubt it will be overly convincing. They have injuries to Hazard and new signing Bakayoko. Morata may be deployed on the left wing and Batshuayi in the middle. New defender Rudiger also has fitness concerns and there are a few worries going into the season opener.

    That aside they are without their top scorer in Gray who has moved to Watford, and Burnley really don’t have that much going for them as they’ll likely be in a relegation battle come the end of the year.

    Prediction – 1-0 Chelsea

    Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield Town (12am AEST)
    Palace are a team with loads of potential and can score at will when they’re on. I see them really causing newly promoted Huddersfield some real problems at the back.

    Main midfielder Cabaye looks in doubt for Crystal Palace which would be a big out but his likely replacement, new signing from Chelsea Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks a raw talent.

    As an Aussie I hope Mooy plays and is a star for Huddersfield but I think this will be a harsh realisation that it is a big step up to the Premier League. Palace too strong at home.

    Prediction – 4-0 Crystal Palace

    Everton vs Stoke (12am AEST)
    As a Liverpool fan you will rarely see me want to say anything positive about Everton but their recruitment has been excellent. Yes they have lost main man Lukaku but striker Sandro is underrated and Rooney can really bring experience to this team going forward. I see them being big improvers.

    Stoke are known generally to be defensively strong and are likely in for another decent campaign. If they have any sense they must play Bojan Krkic. He has been in their ranks for years and gets little stints here and there but doesn’t stay a regular as a result of injuries mostly. He has looked excellent in preseason, is fit, skillful and adds a different dimension to their attack. He must start and if he does he will cause trouble for most defenses this year.

    This will be a close game and I can’t split them as there will be rust in both teams.

    Prediction – 1-1 draw

    Southampton vs Swansea City (12am AEST)
    Van Dijk’s move away has caused a lot of stress for the manager but they can cope without him in this game.

    Swansea will likely start the season with Tammy Abraham who has managed 3 goals in the 4 preseason games he has played and could be one to watch.

    Other than that, Sigurdson still has greater ambitions than playing for Swansea and wouldn’t be surprised if he was to leave in the near future.

    Southampton I don’t think will reach great heights this year but I would be shocked if Swansea weren’t to be relegated.

    Prediction – 2-0 Southampton

    West Bromwich Albion vw Bournemouth (12am AEST)
    Not a game I can see being an exciting one. The most 50/50 game I see in Round 1. Defoe is a huge buy for Bournemouth and they have plenty of talent in their mids and forwards but just can be a hard team to predict.

    My rule has always been to not go against the Baggies at the Hawthorns unless against a top team as they are very hard to beat at home.

    For that reason I see them getting one and defending their line resolutely as always.

    Prediction – 1-0 West Brom

    Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City (2:30am AEST)
    On paper should we even discuss this going any other way than a Man City victory? Manchester City are clear favourites for the title this year and Brighton are newly promoted.

    Brighton are the biggest underdogs this round and by no means will be getting the win but I do see them tough to get past early.

    I would not be surprised to see things tied at the 70th minute and them giving City a scare but in the end I think City’s class prevails… just.

    As a side note on this Pascal Gross is a fantastic signing for Brighton from the Bundesliga. He created the most chances in the Bundesliga last year in a team that got relegated.

    Just let that percolate in your mind that is no small task. Brighton may surprise a few this season.

    Prediction – 2-1 Manchester City

    Newcastle v Tottenham (10:30pm AEST)
    Why are people not getting excited about Spurs? We know exactly how they’ll lineup with Trippier the talented right back being the obvious choice now Walker has left.

    They were fantastic last year when finishing second. I would be surprised if they aren’t a top four side and against Newcastle they should make easy work.

    A preseason has seen them beat PSG and Juventus and go down in a close game to Roma with a loss to City being more a fitness game for them. Spurs to win comfortably here and remind people of their credentials.

    Prediction – 3-1 Tottenham

    Monday 14th August

    Manchester United v West Ham (1am AEDT)
    West Ham will be big improvers adding Manchester United’s former favourite Javier Hernandez as well as Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic.

    They have been busy in the transfer market and will be a lot better this year. Manchester United have one of the most talent stacked rosters in the EPL and world. Giving top players regular game time is important for them as their rotational system is an issue.

    Lukaku adds another threat but I don’t know how well he will fit in. It could be another Benteke-at-Liverpool-like buy, I have a feeling. In saying that I could be totally wrong and he could bang in 20+ goals.

    West Ham will give United some headaches and see them come out locked together.

    Prediction – 1-1 draw